GODFLESH is really a band that needs no introduction…mostly because they have a Wikipedia page. For those not in the know though, they are a two-man industrial wrecking machine from Birmingham, UK featuring guitarist/vocalist/programmer Justin K. Broadrick (ex-NAPALM DEATH, JESU, GREYMACHINE) and bassist G.C. Green. The band has technically been around for over 25 years now, but from 2002-2010 were on a lengthy hiatus. Their newest album A World Lit Only by Fire is not only their first in 13 years, but it’s also possibly their greatest work yet!
For a band like GODFLESH, coming back in 2014 with your first new record since 2001 can yield some very interesting results thanks to technology. A quick listen back to earlier releases and you’ll notice that as heavy as the riffs are, the volume and tone isn’t necessarily the heaviest thing ever. Therefore, it’s hard to tell exactly what you’re in store for on A World Lit Only by Fire sound-wise. However, it only takes 36 seconds into opener “New Dark Ages” to discover what a monster this record is. After a brief ambient drum part starts the song, this monstrous, chugging riff kicks in and proceeds to ruin everything by smashing and stomping around like a drunken elephant in a glass house. As the song goes, that riff just keeps getting heavier and heavier and showcases just how bad ass the album is about to get.
After starting off on a massive high note, the next track “Deadend” kicks off with another monstrously heavy riff with a SICK accompanying bass line from Green and eventually they combine with a double-bass drum machine part that just rules. The album’s third song “Shut Me Down” is where the realization hits that there’s a lot more here than just spine-crushingly heavy riffs. It actually has a shit-ton of groove! The main guitar riff/drum beat part in this song is kind of absurd, really. It’s the kind I would imagine a T-1000 might get down to after a long day of crushing human skulls in battle. Another great moment is on “Obeyed”, which features a more old school GODFLESH-type riff that kind of builds and builds only to explode with another one that murderous robots might get sexy to. Another truly genius moment on the record is “Curse Us All”. The song starts out with some killer bass by Green that leads into another of Broadrick’s hateful, excruciatingly heavy riffs. Where things get intense though, is at the :44 mark when things start getting bouncy and dancey. It’s kind of like watching a 330 lb. offensive lineman tap dance on the spine of some 185 lb. cornerback he just pancaked.
I know that it’s unfair to the rest of this band’s amazing discography to call this their best album. However, I just can’t get over how incredible it is that Justin Broadrick decided to use an 8-string guitar on these songs. It really fills up the atmosphere and makes the riff the main overall focus and gives it a tone that stands head and shoulders above the rest. I mean, really the whole disc is absolutely perfect. Green’s bass is a perfect match to Broadrick’s intense riffs, the drum machine sounds loud and full and adds an incredible punch and the vocals sound as robotic and hate-filled as ever. If you’ve ever wanted a record that is utterly devoid of soul, but perfectly groovy enough to dance like a moron to, A World Lit Only by Fire really is perfect for you and very well may be the best album of 2014 by a long shot.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM
WRITTEN BY JOHNNY RINGÖ